Optimize and Tune SQL Query Performance
with SQL Sentry Top SQL from SentryOne

What is Top SQL in SolarWinds SQL Sentry from SentryOne?


Top SQL is our name for high impact SQL query capture and analysis features in SQL Sentry from SentryOne. This functional area of SentryOne collects details about running and completed queries, processes them for use in various features across the solution, and presents them for analysis, optimization, and tuning by professionals using SQL Sentry.

Why Top SQL?


The Pareto principlecommonly referred to as "the 80/20 rule"—is something most of us are likely familiar with. It generally holds true that 80% of one thing can be impacted or heavily influenced by 20% of another, related thing. In SQL Server terms, it is often true that 20% of the SQL queries running are responsible for 80% of performance concerns.

This 80/20 phenomena is a primary reason SentryOne SQL query performance analysis and tuning begins with "Top SQL" rather than "All SQL." Top SQL is designed to quickly identify the 20% of your workload that contains the highest impact and resource intensive queries. Tuning these queries first will greatly advance your journey from reactive to proactive. It will also free up time for you and your team to focus on the other 80% of queries. Incidentally, once you tune your highest impact queries, Top SQL will then surface the next round of your highest impact, resource intensive queries, which will then become your focus for tuning.

SQL Server query performance tuning should be easier.


Data warehousing professionals will recognize the concept of providing answers to questions that haven't been asked yet. That use case is one of the primary reasons for self-service decision support systems. The same concept is alive and well within Top SQL in SQL Sentry.

Top SQL becomes your guide to discovering the true root causes of poorly performing queries. SentryOne then provides you with the most comprehensive query analysis tools available with natively integrated Plan Explorer.

Top SQL screenshot

Top SQL feature summary

  • View top queries by data range
  • Specify the minimum duration or other criteria (e.g., CPU time) for filtered queries
  • Drill down on any suspicious query for further information
  • Analyze your queries across your entire SQL Server environment and for each server instance
  • Jump between your Top SQL tab and other Performance Analysis views such as the Dashboard, Blocking, and Deadlocks to gain better insight into the impact of the query across the instance
  • Use Top SQL for analyzing your high-impact queries across the Microsoft Data Platform, including SQL Server, SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), and Azure SQL Database

“SentryOne helped me quickly drill down from Top SQL to the query plan and dashboard to evaluate performance and bottlenecks. It demonstrated for me that several of the SQL Servers were over allocated in resources.”

—SentryOne Customer

Ready to end your database performance problems?


Download a SQL Sentry trial

See for yourself how SQL Sentry can help you achieve optimal database performance.

Download Free Trial

Schedule a SQL Sentry demo

Learn more about how SQL Sentry can help you troubleshoot and prevent database performance problems. Register to attend a public demo or schedule a one-on-one session.

Schedule Demo

Learn more about SQL Sentry

Discover how you can quickly find and fix SQL Server performance problems with SQL Sentry, which delivers proven scalability, easy-access dashboards, and visibility across your entire database environment.

Learn More